Opening of Belarus-Egypt Business Forum

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There are new avenues for cooperation opening up between Belarus and Egypt, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said at the opening of the Belarus-Egypt Business Forum in Cairo on 16 January.

“New avenues for cooperation open up between Belarus and Egypt. You know Belarus tractors very well. Minsk Automobile Plant, another big Belarusian company, starts exploring the Egyptian market. We sell Belarusian equipment and are ready to come here with our technologies and specialists, set up companies, demonstrate our working abilities and teach Egyptians how to make these products,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

According to the head of state, it is possible to set up new joint assembly plants in Egypt to produce haul trucks, road construction and utilities equipment.

“Today many countries show a big interest in Belarusian geologic exploration, deep-water well drilling, and waste water purification technologies. Our specialists are ready to share the knowledge and experience with Egyptian partners. In the agro-industrial sector we can team up to set up demonstration farms and processing companies,” the President said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko called upon businessmen of the two countries to use more actively the potential of the Belarusian-Egyptian trade commission and the working group on industrial cooperation in establishing bilateral ties. “Make proposals and be sure that you will be supported at the highest level. You will see the same approach from my counterpart and friend Egypt President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi,” the Belarusian leader is convinced.

“The roadmap of our cooperation should be prepared in Q1 2017. This action plan should be prepared and filled with concrete meaning within three months. We should specify what production facilities and joint ventures to establish on the territory of Egypt,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The President remarked that this proposal was put forward by the Egyptian side, and Belarus supported it. “The progress in this field will not depend on us. We will move as fast as Egypt wants,” the head of the state said. “I would like the members of the government and directors of the biggest Belarusian enterprises to remember about it. We have always been responsible people, and have always been appreciated for it in the world.”

In his speech at the opening of the Belarus-Egypt Business Forum Aleksandr Lukashenko sketched out Belarus’ competitive advantages.

“The economic potential of our state relies on mechanical engineering, metalworking, chemical and petrochemical industries, light industry, food industry, timber and wood processing industry, production of construction materials, pharmaceutics, and microbiology. I told the President [of Egypt] today that we have technologies based on the most advanced scientific research. He was interested in the matter. He suggested right away that our scientists should meet with each other in Belarus. The President said he would like our cooperation to rely on advanced science and technologies. It is only right,” Aleksandr Lukashenko is convinced.

Belarus specializes in making trucks, buses, and utility vehicles. Belarus is also a major manufacturer of agricultural machines. The country accounts for 30% of the world’s output of haul trucks (BelAZ) and 17% of the world’s production of harvesters. Minsk Tractor Works (MTZ) is one of the world’s top eight manufacturers of wheeled tractors. “Belarus makes chemical fibers, fuel, potash, nitrogen, and compound fertilizers, which sell well abroad. Belarus is a leader in the area of high technologies among European nations. I am convinced that many of you already use the software developed in Belarus such as Viber, for instance,” the President remarked.

Aleksandr Lukashenko pointed out that agribusiness is an important part of the Belarusian economy. Belarus is recognized as one of the largest exporters of dairy products on the global market.

“It is also important that favorable business terms have been enabled in Belarus. The protection of private property and investments is guaranteed. The right to repatriate profits is secured. The National Agency of Investment and Privatization and the World Bank are busy introducing modern approaches to privatization, which are open and understandable in the eyes of foreign companies. We are in favor of implementing any mutually beneficial projects,” the Belarusian head of state said.

Before the opening of the forum Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko and Egypt President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi visited the exposition of Belarusian equipment. When the leaders of the two countries toured the exposition of MAZ freight vehicles, a proposal was made to provide necessary drawings for the production of detachable equipment for vehicles to Egypt.

“At the first stage, we will share the technologies of making this detachable equipment with you. Lower parts and cabins will be made in Minsk. However, we will gradually transfer these technologies to Egypt. This pertains to all fields, not only the production of vehicles,” Aleksandr Lukashenko explained.

The Belarusian head of state mentioned that MAZ and MTZ equipment can be used in a wide range of fields, pointed out its low cost in comparison with the Western analogues.

After the Belarus-Egypt Business forum President Aleksandr Lukashenko met with Speaker of the House of Representatives of Egypt Ali Abdel Aal.